We have evolved two different responses to stress. One is designed for the immediate and potentially life-threatening effects of stress (acute stress). The other follows this up a few minutes later and is designed for longer term coping (both with the stress itself and the body’s immediate response). This is for chronic or longer term stress. I will consider the details shortly.
When soldiers return to modern society, they must go through—among other adjustments—a terrific oxytocin withdrawal. The chronic isolation of modern society begins in childhood and continues our entire lives. Infants in hunter-gatherer societies are carried by their mothers as much as 50 to 90 percent of the time, often in wraps that keep them strapped to the mother’s back so that her hands are free. That roughly corresponds to carrying rates among other primates, according to primatologist and psychologist Harriet J. Smith. One can get an idea of how desperately important touch is to primates from a landmark experiment conducted in the 1950s by a psychologist and primatologist named Harry Harlow. Baby rhesus monkeys were separated from their mothers and presented with the choice of two kinds of surrogates: a cuddly mother made out of terry cloth or an uninviting mother made out of wire mesh. The wire-mesh mother, however, had a nipple that would dispense warm milk. The babies invariably took their nourishment quickly in order to rush back and cling to the terry-cloth mother, which had enough softness to provide the illusion of affection. But even that isn’t enough for psychological health: in a separate experiment, more than 75 percent of female baby rhesus monkeys raised with terry-cloth mothers—as opposed to real ones—grew up to be abusive and neglectful to their own young.
Essay about stress and health ryu murakami book reviews
For obvious reasons these studies have to be natural or correlational. Long term stress as a manipulated and tightly controlled IV would be highly unethical. However, is does mean that a causal link between stress and heart disease can only be inferred, rather than proven beyond doubt.